tv [untitled] January 28, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EST
headquarters which was on navy hill out of the state department and he was going to appropriate $1 million for it. it was a lot of money back then. the secret service, however, was horrified at the idea of strong take a wheelchair-bound president to navy hill every day to look at this audio-visual room. donovan planned on having new-fangled devices to show roosevelt was the war was overseas overseas. roosevelt wasn't part of the failures that donovan suffered and he seemed to realize that intelligence was -- donovan spent an awful lot of time cultivating roosevelt while he was in office and he had the agents look for stamps that he could collect and bring back to the white house for roosevelt's
stamp collection. the glow, if you go to the roosevelt library, you'll see a replica of his office and there's a giant globe, and they were supplied by the oss. donovan would send memos to roosevelt in french and there were operations in france and roosevelt liked to practice his french. i don't think you would find too many presidents getting memos in french nowadays. donovan didn't want to get too close to roosevelt and he didn't socialize with him. he thought roosevelt was a great politician, but he thought he was a bad wartime leader which turned out to be -- it was a great political leader and he was also a great wartime leader and roosevelt for his part kept dobb van on a very short leash and donovan often didn't realize that was the case. throughout donovan's tenure at the oss, he was suspicious there
were an awful lot of republicans that joined the oss, the spy agency and they never completely trusted him. any kind of the security business. roosevelt liked hoover and liked his aggressive attitude in farrelling up communists nazis and even isolationists in the u.s., and general strong who was head of military intelligence and army intelligence they used to call him george v. roosevelt liked strong and thought he was a good expert on military intelligence. so he would play them off very often against donovan, too. roosevelt had a secret spy agency he didn't tell donovan about until donovan got into forming the coi.
it was actually an organization set up by john, franklin carter who set up a secret unit for roosevelt. >> donovan eventually sends roosevelt over the entire war and something like 4,500 memos, report, intelligence studies. the question is did roosevelt ever have time to read all of them? some people say that he didn't because he had wrote a few comments on most of donovan's reports. a lot of it was important strategic intelligence. one time he sent him a note that verbals the head of nazi propaganda was put on broadcast calling roosevelt a clicken putter who is german slang for door to door salesman.
it turns out roosevelt did read most of donovan's reports. at least that's my view. he was really confined to his desk for much of the day unless the secret service came in and moved him so he had a lot of time to read what donovan was telling him. so i think he should be given more credit for digesting what donovan's vast organization provided. [ applause ] >> thank you, doug. our next speaker is mr. thomas parish. mr. parish has two degrees from the university of chicago. while in the army he was the editor of a unit newspaper which helped him later work for the associated press and the local sports reporter. he has written three books on history for younger readers and is the author are of "roosevelt and marshall," partners in
politics and war as well as to keep the british isles afloat. these were accompanied by a book on language. the grouchy grammarian. we welcome mr. parish. >> thank you no grammar to complain about here today. >> like everyone else, i'm always to be back to hyde park and i thank you for having invited me. we all know president roosevelt was a man of many surprises, paradox and so forth and what i start with here is one that he produced in april 1939. he hadn't filled a vacancy, and at the time the leading candidate and the favorite was the army senior major general l
drum. >> drum, drum, how i wish he could quit beating his drum and when the time came to make the appointme appointment, brigadier general and george c. marshall. and the column nest and the broadcasters, and required, and he wanted somebody who would be -- i don't know simply a willing order taker. somebody who would not talk out of turn. a yes man, said "the new york daily mirror." if you're not laughing at this, you should be. >> george marshall as as with man. we had not been present at an important meeting that took place about five months earlier. fdr had called them together and
it was shortly after the conference in which they had been seated by czechoslovakia to germany and roosevelt told the startled group of people, generals, admirals, cabinet officials and others that they wanted to ask congress for 20,000 airplanes. this was an incredible number in 1938 when the u.s. had a small army, a small air force or army at the time and it was by most estimates ranked as 17th in the world. about the size of that of portugal and the air force was small as well. roosevelt said they won't give me 20,000 plane, but maybe i can get 10,000 which would have been a fantastic number for that time. a funny thing developed in the room as it went on and it became clear that roosevelt was talking only about airplanes and the officers thought, well, you have to have everything else. supply services and you have to have pilots and you have to have
nemechanics and so forth, but hs only talking about the planes themselves and it dawned on him that he wasn't necessarily thinking about planes for the united states. he was thinking about planes for britain and france, the democrats as they were generally called, who roosevelt knew would shortly be strongly convinced and would shortly be in a war in na nazi germany. roosevelt turned to this newly arrived brigadier general, george marshall, and made some statement and said, don't you think so, george? marshall looked at him in surprise for two or three reasons. one of the first was they were shot being called by his first name by a man he barely knew. he was president of the united states and i didn't like such a
misraechgz our presidency. marshall fired back and said mr. president, i don't agree with that at all. roosevelt shot him a surprised look and shortly thereafter the meeting concluded and he said it would be a short stay in washington. it seemed to be the mood, but as marshall said later, and it didn't seem to both him at all. in april 1939 he was summoned by the president to the white house and told that he was going to be chief of staff. marshall being marshall said you must understand that i will speak my mind and it may be unpleasant and roosevelt said that's all right. he wanted to go ahead and so he did. time magazine had called marshall at that point at the time of the appointment that he could be so blunt as to offend
strangers, and i thought, well, what else can you say about this new chief of staff, and it was a little bit of history and anyone who knows the mature george marshall will find it hard to believe and as a boy growing up in union town pennsylvania he was a cut up and a prankster. this sounds very 19th century like mark twain, and marshall was smashing behinds and tipping over out houses and he was very poor in his studies and he said it was history. he loved to read history and he said i didn't come up to scratch at all and because of his red hair and his constant running around, he received the nickname of flipper. it was pretty hard to imagine, but there you are.
and he came because he developed an interest in civil war lore and soldiering in general and some of the legends of nearby virginia? his older brother had gone to m vmi and george conceded to the idea that he, too, would like to go to vmi. one day he happened over here and george -- excuse me, stewart, pleading with his mother saying not to let george go to vme because he would embarrass him, stewart and disgrace the family name. george said what had been something he wanted to do, and he urged it, he called it and he was going succeed and he was going to go there and he would
get stewart's eye and and the professionally off the ear figure of general george c. marshall. so this was the nature of the man. and such an important member of roosevelt's team and it is the most important relationship during the war. it will be most important and militarily, i think my title it was supposed to be military advisers in washington. they have a question point when we can talk about anybody else. it would be the most important partnership, i think and while it was marked by true admiration and mutually, he was marked on a neat disagreement and roles
reversed on two important issues to the world. i'll mention them prime on central issues and one pre-war and one in war. first one had to do with that meeting i was talking about in the white house who were planes. marshall did not disagree with roosevelt's ultimate objectives, but he was fighting off attempts of people to want to do partial things and keep individual units being developed that would be capable of doing the missions carrying out whether they were ground error or what so that he felt that reverting all of the planes away and only making partial assignments to the army air force as it was then would be not really answering the question. the united states had to build
up its air force, but had to do it in complete, functioning units and paper units wouldn't do the trick. roosevelt, however, took his role as commander in chief, but constitutional role with the utmost seriousness and when he got hold of an issue he tended to stick to his ideas and as he's often accused of vacillating and all presidents seemed to be accused of that, but here he did not, really. he didn't have much to send as we heard a little while ago, but that priority remained his until pearl harbor when it became lewd in a sense although questions of the assignment remain, and the second issue was the one that arose after pearl harbor or over the cause of pearl harbor which was the u.s. who adopted the strategy about a year before
which was in case of war, they thought. the united states would stand on the defensive in the pacific and take the offensive in the atlant atlantic. churchill brought over and it will show the americans where the war should be fought and also to answer questions like this because the british thought they had the attack on pearl harbor and so great that they would abandon the strategy and be on the pacific and would have been amazing and the pacific began to get increasing emphasis faster than what the plan called for. but the americans are going to take the offensive in european theater, with what and how, that
was the question that the planners had to face. and that was the traditional thing that he called for. across channel landing and an attack across the plane to france into germany and end the war that way. i don't know if it was immediately, but that was the grand zion and to begin with, marshall, a favorite and landing with the planners as well and landing in which they nicknamed sledgehammer and it was an important function, they thought of the drawing's impressions were being beaten by the german at this time with the 1942 season. the problem with that was the troops didn't have enough to do this with so if this were to be the cases it would be largely a brit issue operation and the british did not like the look and smell of this at all and they would tie it and discuss it
with eisenhower and marshall had sent to london as commander of forces there and the forces are were being tough there. it was a transatlantic essay contest as they were arguing their point. the british never had their heart on this. they had talked about peripheral operations and they were using the power and so on. they thought of it as something well off the future. they turned marshall and company down flat on the final trip they made to england in the summer. marshall was pretty disconsulate on this i would say about his feelings. he was asked how he felt about something once and he said i have no feelings except those
reserved for mrs. marshall. so we were not going to learn much from him about what was going on inside his head. another thing, and anyway, that's what he said. so what would happen, then, president roosevelt explained you would not have the draft to germany, they were engaging in this great war and not throwing it all into the pacific and then it not be in direct contact with the european axes somewhere. you could sell the sledgehammer to the british fine, but you have to do something else. and the strategy that the president favored which turned out to be true in november 8, 1942 was the torch landing in north africa, famously algiers which moved up the release of the movie casa blanca so much. it was already in the can.
so interesting part-time. the problem with this was that this took the forces that were being built up in england away from england again down to africa, and marshall was -- this was the central disagreement between he and roosevelt and the more as a matter of strategy and once they were there, they were there, what were we going to do with him? marshall would like to see him go back to england. "time" magazine, which was a wonderful source had said they credited as they saw it, marshall for the plan, and it was going clean hitler on to africa, and i was hoping, and that was his biggest strategic disappointment in the world was torch. at any rate, what to do now? well, this debate went on and to condense it, finally marshall
did produce a sort of compromise that would a sure the invasion by 1944. he still had hopes by 1943, but as the year went on and the troops went into sicily and then in italy, that that was gone and the italian campaign, of course, to the americans was never anything they would like and i never found anybody who thought much of it, but the british chief of staff was an extremely abled soldier. now i ask myself the question the other day, did marshall ever thought about resigning about any of these issues? and i found that only once by his own testimony that the possibility would come up and that was the issue of stemson, the variable and much-admired secretary of war. fdr was not involved in that, at
least not directly, and it was pre-war and it's technical. it's not worth going into at the moment, but marshall was very desperate about it, however, and he did say, if you do this i will resign, but marshall himself considered his own conduct which was reprehensible. i said i shouldn't have done it when i did it because marshall was a team player and he believed that if he was the officer, and it was what he did. because of his threat, and the problem went away. i'd like to say that during all of these debates it sounds like they're always contentious and most of this time marshall was urging roosevelt for greater defense efforts and more appropriation and trying to get more appropriation and so on. during this time, he was doing his basic job which was creating this huge army and the greatest american army in history and actually in many ways, one of the most remarkable of all armies, i think, and his
reputation and i don't know how many realize this now and the reputation just grew and grew and expanded and he increasingly carried the ball for the administration and congressional hearings, and why was that? many reasons, but one was it was unmistakable sincerity. and also along with that, it was also not a self-promoter and lack of self-promotion seemed it was unusual characterestics, but they did attract his admiration so much so than a politician having to praise president roosevelt any cry thank god for general marshall as he did in his presidential run.
i called roosevelt's marshall partners and it was in the reverse roles and i would say marshall's magic for congress made him intuitively great, and they were not ever thought of that way. fdr acted decisively as chief strategist and with the big question, that's what he was. they were partners and they were intimate. marshall did not go to hyde park becausy hoo was afraid roosevelt would seduce him into doing something that was not right in order to protect his virtue baz he thought he was safer in washington. >> you didn't find general marshall here, unfortunately. and marshall was always -- general marshall -- after the first try with george he was discouraged about that. marshall, on the other hand, always called everybody by their
last name. it was an example of their differences, but they were both coded in. they decided how one should act and he proceeded to try to follow that code. most important, of course, the two made a wing team. [ applause ] thank you, mr. parish. dr. black is executive editor of fdr and is on the board of governors of the roosevelt institute. he is founding editor and editorial advisory board chairwoman of the eleanor roosevelt papers which teaches the stances on human rights and democracy. dr. black is consultant to the women's division of the united nations high division for human rights. she also is on the board of directors of the eleanor roosevelt legacy committee, the
center for new deal studies and the national coalition for history. please join me in welcoming back to the hudson valley dr. e lita black. >> hi, everybody. >> well, my job in nine and a half minutes, is to tell you about eleanor roosevelt as a war leader which, if we can accomplish, we should all agree that i should get the nobel prize for history. of course, they'd have to create one for history first for me to get it, but i would like to do is ask you to move beyond the preconceptions that you have of eleanor roosevelt as a great woman of sorrow. a great woman of conscience and sort of lack of humor, if you will, who only dabbled in politics out of concern for humanity.
as i tell students and teachers all over the world i can go home and flap my wings and be back in washington in 15 minutes. this woman was first and foremost a political war horse, to pick up the topics that panel has raised so far edward r. morrow is an exceedingly brilliant, pioneering journalist. eleanor roosevelt was the third most indicated journalist in the united states and the second most syndicated journalist with world circulation. by the war, she had shifted away from doing predominantly domestic politics in her "my day" column which appeared at its height in 93 change which works out to about 283 newspapers across the united states and by the end of the r
war, it was also appearing in britain, in france, in germany and in what we now know as south africa. she was a phenomenal journalist. the voice the country heard first of pearl harbor day because the president was rightly so, convening with the war cabinet and leaders of congress was eleanor roosevelt. steve early, the press secretary for the president gave out a statement. eleanor walked out of the white house and walked into blair house and put an ig timer inside of her and sat out in three minutes and talked about what it was like to live in fear. to live with the knowledge that an enemy might strike at a moment's notice in a way that we had not yet anticipated as a country and how we should not
let fear dominate our policies and our relationships with one anoth another. she meant by that not just the basic, fundamental heart wrenching concern of families of wartime and she means religious animosity and she means economic and regional animosity. she immediately, after president roosevelt gives his monumental address to congress that discusses the date of infamy where we officially enter the war. she gets on an airplane and she flies to california where she appeals to citizens of japanese and american descent to, in fact, work together. this is no time for hive -- she
says, she becomes the most outstanding critic of policy in the united states. she meets with supreme court justices in the state of california. she meets with douglas who was then on the united states' supreme court. she meets regularly with attorney general francis bittel, but she loses the battle. this is not the eleanor roosevelt that we think of when we think of a wartime leader. we think of her as the champion of the tuskegee airmen, of the -- somewhat failed controversial chair of the office of civilian defense. this is a woman who in 1942 will be tutored by some of the leading economists of our time most notably hansen who will become the prime -- alfred hansen who will become the preeminent reconversn